Charting new territory is the art of life. We never move backwards (or ought not to), we only travel forwards unto new things here and now.
How is that to occur in a new year?
Resolutions, drive, direction and fear in abundance—even for those not taking the plunge into ‘Resolution Territory’—toward Terra Nova (New Land). At no other time in the year is this reminiscent goal-setting so pressing. Perhaps it’s the only thing that keeps some in the game of living, of becoming—that sense of unrivalled, transcendent purpose known only it seems to a few.
New Land stands before them. They wake on day one—January 1—strident with purpose, with it all ahead of them. There’s fear. ‘Will I be a success?’ is the crescendo. ‘Or will it be like last year?’ or, ‘If this New Year’s Resolution doesn’t work out, I’m quitting them for good,’ such is the prospect of embarrassment for failure. (Perhaps many failed New Year’s Resolutions have happened for you.)
New Land brings new revelation, new temptations, new everything. As an explorer through our own lives, charting our very futures as the Lands of our presents are traversed, we are simultaneously blessed and cursed. It seems strangely foreign. Our whole worldview turned upside down because of the goal.
We daren’t dispute this. It’s tribal warfare at soul level. Are we ready for a fight? And, more to the point, can we remain ready? And the answer has to be, of course, “yes!” Resolutely, yes. ‘I am ready and I’ll remain ready,’ must be the charge.
Yet, Terra Nova (New Land) is before us all the time, not simply at New Year.
But, we see the danger ahead and scamper back to safety rather than fight for ground that is already destined to be ours, for we have perceived it and conceived it. It is only action now that stands between us and the realisation of our goal. New Year is just the tradition of venturing out, oxygen mask and jungle boots fitted, Avatar-style.
Fear seems appropriate—indeed it’s a natural part of the territory on Terra Nova. But, we’re duped when we partake fearfully. It can’t be our method. We must be fear-less.
This New Land before you and I is not merely a pretty option, and it’s certainly not questionable whether it’s ours or not. For life, or the living of it, simply depends on taking this ground, one moment after the intrepid other. One day at a time do alcoholics get over their disease. One steaming day through the jungle after the other—never giving up.
Key Truths to Focus Upon
è If we never give up we never will. (Even if we slip, but we do not give up entirely, we will get there, eventually!)
è If we have something to hope for, something positive, we will succeed. Life will become better. Never underestimate the power of hope.
è Whatever we place as front of mind we tend to succeed in. If we keep the goal front of mind for as long as it takes success is certain.
My favourite verse of Scripture is entirely appropriate to finish:
“Let us not become weary in doing good [at New Year, or at any other time], for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
—Galatians 6:9 (NIV).
Terra Nova, here we come!
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.